It’s that time of year again everyone is getting excited for the first in person Merrie Monarch Festival since the pandemic began. With this yearʻs passing of Kumu Johnny Lum Ho, we wanted to honor him and his hālau, Hālau ʻO Ka Ua Kani Lehua by curating clips from our Merrie Monarch collection featuring the kumu and the hālau. Please note, that there is more footage of the hālau in the collection than just the clips we are sharing in this post. You are always welcome to contact us to request seeing more!
Hālau ʻO Ka Ua Kani Lehua under the direction of Kumu Johnny Lum Ho
The Merrie Monarch [Festival 1983] : Coronation of a King
Kumu Johnny Lum Ho and the hālau were always known for their edgy and groundbreaking performances that won them numerous awards. In this clip they win 2nd Place overall in the wāhine division in 1984, but that year they also won 3rd place in the wāhine kahiko division; fourth place in the ʻauana wāhine division; and 2nd place overall in the kāne division.
This clip begins with one of the Merrie Monarch founders and visionary George Naʻope speaking on the movements and feelings in hula but also includes Hālau ʻO Ka Ua Kani Lehua winning wāhine kahiko performance at the 23rd Annual Merrie Monarch festival . Youʻll see a closeup of a younger Johnny Lum Ho as he chants and keeps beat with the ipu heke.
Includes Keone Nunes speaking about his late kumu Darrell Lupenui and and beautiful hula ʻauana mele and hula by Hālau ʻO Ka Ua Kani Lehua honoring mama Lum Ho and her recollections about “all the exciting things she did in her life. Like catching the ʻŌʻō bird [to use for feather lei] with the sticky gum of the ʻulu tree and gathering maile in the Panaʻewa forest she made feather leis and flower leis and raised the orchids she’d wear in her hair.”
Please help us give a warm welcome to our first in-person intern in over two years, Jon Snyder! Jon has already been with us for about five weeks, but he has several more weeks to go and we would love to introduce him to you. He has agreed to do a brief interview with us to share a little bit about himself and his time with us so far. Welcome Jon! We’re happy to have you!
My name is Jon Snyder, I am pursuing my Bachelors Degree in English here at The University of Hawai’i West Oahu. I am the perfect example of that old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none,” as I have held many different jobs and hobbies. I enjoy attempting to create music and playing with sound editors. I also have a small book collection of about 400 books. At different points in my life I have been a courier for a local mortuary, a sign maker, and member of a punk band that opened for Blink-182 at the Blaisdell arena. Most recently I have been working at the Leeward Community College Library as a Reference Student Assistant.
What brought you here to ‘Ulu‘ulu? What are some of the things you’re hoping to learn during your internship with us?
The idea of doing an internship with an archive was planted in my mind when I began classes at UHWO in 2016 by Dr. Brenda Machosky. Through our conversations after class she realized that with my personal experiences and academic work ethic, that I would be a perfect match for something like this. When it came time to begin looking for an internship for the practicum, I wanted to find something that was not only interesting, but also on campus. ‘Ulu’ulu was the first and obvious choice. Aside from learning how an archive functions and what its purpose is, I would like to see how an archive, such as this one, can not only help to preserve the past but also service the future.
What projects are you working on at ‘Ulu‘ulu?
I have been working with Hōkū and just finished creating the preliminary inventory for the films and tapes that have come in for the 100th Infantry Battalion. I have also been involved with preparing ʻUluʻulu video clips for website migration with Robbie. Both projects are interesting in their own ways. For me, it is interesting to see how a collection is handled at the beginning phase of its inclusion to the collections here. The interesting part of the website clip migration has been seeing the clips from the past. At times I have to stop myself from trying to see where the clip might be from and seeing how the location has changed over time.
Is there anything about the items you are working with that is surprising or unexpected?
One aspect that surprised me was how much has to be done to a film or tape before a student or a researcher might even see it. It is not like archives are depicted in movies where someone just walks into the space and begins rummaging around. Everything has a name, number, and location. I really think working at Leewardʻs library has been an advantage for me in understanding how this aspect of an archive works.
One unexpected thing actually happened the other day. While I was being shown how to examine film that has been donated, we noticed that this particular film had sound on it. I remarked that the sound resembled what a waveform looks like on a computer. To my surprise, I was told that that is pretty much exactly what it is. A lot of little things from my personal interests have seemed to find a use while I am here. I really enjoy learning by doing, and thankfully everyone here has trusted me with being hands on.
Now, that you’ve been at the archive for a few weeks have you found a favorite aspect?
I think the thing that I like the most is that there does not seem to be a ton of pressure in the process, even though I know that everyplace has their own deadlines to meet. The preservation process can be time consuming, but since the focus is on making sure that what is coming in is usable and can eventually be digitized, it is understood why some things may take longer than others. I really like the emphasis on preservation here. It is almost the same reason why I like libraries. If you think of every book in a library as being an idea, the library is sort of a repository for ideas. That same feeling is present here at ʻUluʻulu, except the medium being preserved involves moving images. In both examples, the people working at a library and at this archive are working toward a common goal of preserving the past in order to inform the future.
Do you have any advice for future ‘Ulu’ulu Interns?
Since being a Humanities intern is not so typical for ʻUluʻulu, I would say that it is important to approach anything and everything with an open mind. I have found that even though my major is not typically associated with this kind of work, there is still a lot that I can relate from my schooling to this kind of archival work. If I had to use an analogy I would say, just try to be like a dry sponge and soak up all you can. You never know what may influence your direction in life.
ʻUluʻulu is saying goodbye to our project assistant, Sidney Louie. After three years and graduating from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with her masters degree in Library and Information Science she will be moving to the Honolulu Museum of Art as their archivist. We asked Sidney to do a quick interview with us before she headed out on her last day.
How did you learn about ‘Ulu‘ulu and why did you decide to work here?
When I left my longtime job in media, I thought about my next career steps. I listed the things that made me happy, and on top of that list were film and libraries. I heard about ‘Ulu‘ulu Moving Image Archive among my peers in the media industry, but I did not fathom the scope and depth of the collections. My first visit to the archive was in Spring 2018, where I met up with Heather, Janel, Robbie, and Koa. Heather showed me the collection vault, which pretty much won me over. Janel told me that she was teaching a moving image archive course at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) that fall semester. Soon afterwards, I enrolled in the Library and Information Science program at UHM, jumped on the archives track, and took Janel’s excellent class. A year later, the OHA project assistant job opened, and I bolted on the opportunity to work here.
Could you share a little about the work you did at ‘Ulu’ulu?
I worked on a digitization project supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) in partnership with OHA’s Papakilo Database. The digital content consists of television programs that focus on Hawaiian history, arts, and culture: “The Best of Treasures,” “Holo Mai Pele,” “Legacy of Light,” “Merrie Monarch Festival,” and “Pau Hana Years.” We accessioned, digitized, described, and made accessible 521 video tapes containing 224 hours of audiovisual recordings. I also worked on a few other side projects: helped Hōkū process incoming collections, wrote grants with Janel, and formatted transcripts for closed captioning.
Was there anything about the videos you worked with that was surprising or unexpected?
I appreciate seeing the raw footage of two or more cameras on a particular scene. You can view quite a few of them in “Holo Mai Pele” from the Pacific Islanders in Communications collection. I enjoy seeing different angles and vantage points of the same scene. It helps me think about looking at an object with a different perspective.
You’ve recently graduated from the Library and Information Sciences program at UH Mānoa, where are you headed now and what will you be doing there?
I will be working as the archivist at the Honolulu Museum of Art, processing and preserving HoMAʻs institutional memory that includes not only the historic building on Beretania Street, but also the Spalding House (formerly The Contemporary Museum) and the Linekona Arts Center. I will also be involved with records management and reference and research services.
Now that you have worked as a Moving Image Archivist, what is your favorite archival media format and why?
Before, now, and forever is film. I was fascinated with 8mm and Super 8 film when I was young. I would watch the 8mm film reels in one of those small projectors in a carrel at the public library. I remember the 16mm films that we watched in elementary school. I also loved 35mm back when I worked at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival when we hauled those heavy film cans.
Tell us a little about what it was like for the last couple of years working for an AV archive through the pandemic?
I worked from home for about 14 months. Although I prefer working at the archive, I do like watching hours of video footage from home on my comfy reading chair or couch. I also tend do my best writing from home. However, I like to think about different ways of approaching a topic, and I enjoy listening to various points of view from my co-workers, especially when I hit an obstacle. I definitely will miss the camaraderie I have developed with my ʻUluʻulu colleagues.
Do you have any recommendations for movies or TV shows that feature libraries, archives, or archival footage?
I was fascinated by Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old,” seeing how much his technical team worked on not only restoring the archival film footage, but also transforming it through adjustments of speed and light. It’s interesting to see an auteur’s handling of archival footage, which is vastly different from documentary filmmakers who use archival footage to present, argue, or support their own thesis or perspective. Most recently, I am enamored with Questlove’s “Summer of Soul” about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The music and performances in the archival concert footage, shot by TV producer Hal Tulchin, are uplifting, toe-tapping, and delightful. It is a treasure trove of talent.
Thank you, Sidney, for your wonderful work and friendship. We wish you the best in your next chapter!
Well 2021 was some kind of year! There were highs and lows throughout, but Covid-19 aside (if only it could be forever put aside), stories have thrived and human resilience has remained high. Here on the West Side of Oʻahu, ʻUluʻulu staff continued throughout the year to work wonders in preserving, cataloging and archiving Hawaiʻi’s precious films and videotape. We accomplished this through teleworking, which began in 2020, connecting us through the internet and finally moving back into scheduled office days in 2021.
We also welcomed incredible collections from Hawaiʻi residents – and from some who are no longer with us. The late Cal Hirai spent most of his career as a news camera operator and editor before moving on as an independent, producing the Outside Hawaiʻi series; recently departed Robert Liljestrand helped save his parent’s home, known as the Liljestrand House, by creating a foundation that not only preserved his dad’s legacy and that of architect Vladimir Ossipoff but the exceptional film collection created by his dad, Dr. Howard Liljestrand. And thanks to Paula Rath, whose grandparents founded and supported the Palama Settlement, the archive is caring for those treasured moving images.
These new collections are now part of ʻUluʻulu, an archive that keeps growing thanks to the support and inspiration of donors, researchers and funders. We are a unique educational agency that is about our past and our future. About memories that will last lifetimes. About stories that never get old.
We are grateful to you the reader, the supporter, the fan, the donor. Please continue to support ʻUluʻulu! We wish you the best in 2022!
ʻUluʻulu has recently completed digitizing the broadcast videotapes of Pau Hana Years, the popular Hawaiʻi Public Television series produced by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education and the Hawaiʻi Public Broadcasting Authority. Branded as the television show “for and by the senior citizens of Hawaiʻi,” the series, hosted and produced by Bob Barker and later Charlotte Simmons, aired on KHET-TV for 16 years beginning in 1966 through its final episode in August 1982. Celebrating the older population of individuals and in groups and communities, the program profiled kupuna who told their life stories, showcased their talents, engaged in lively activities, and shared their cultural knowledge.
Nearly 200 episodes are now available online. Shot on location across several islands, these episodes cover a wide range of special interests, such as baking Portuguese bread in a traditional brick oven at Makawao, Maui; planting kalo in Keʻanae, Maui and Wainiha, Kauaʻi; cattle ranching in Waimea, Hawaiʻi; celebrating the Molokaʻi homestead with a hoʻolauleʻa at Kalamaʻula; and participating in a hukilau at Kualoa, Oʻahu. The studio interviews are just as lively. Some memorable episodes include Hawaiian music performances by legends Alice Namakelua, Charles K.L. Davis, and Ray Kinney, Hawaiian quilt displays by Deborah Kakalia, and a slightly boozy cooking demonstration by Chef Titus Chan and special guest Julia Child. Most importantly, the program captures the lives of a generation born at the turn of the 20th century under political and economic challenges. The series recorded their stories of personal struggles and achievements, preserving them for the next generation of viewers.
Recently we interviewed producer Joy Chong-Stannard about her days working on set of Pau Hana Years:
When did you work on Pau Hana Years, and what was your role there?
Joy: My work with Pau Hana Years began in the early 1980s and lasted for about two years. This was at the tail end of the show. I was just beginning my career as a producer/director/editor and worked with longtime producer Charlotte Simmons. She had previously worked with Bob Barker, the show’s original host and producer of the program. After he retired, Nino Martin, the Executive Producer for the Culture & Arts Division at Hawaiʻi Public Television, took over the reins of the program, and he selected a new host, big band leader Del Courtney.
How and why did you consider the series ground breaking?
Joy: Pau Hana Years was a groundbreaking production for its focus on Hawaiʻi’s multicultural community of senior citizens. It gave them a platform to express their concerns as well as to celebrate their contributions to our island home. Many of the people featured are now considered cultural legends in our state, and we are fortunate to have captured some of their talents and stories on videotape and film.
How has Pau Hana Years helped you grow as a producer/director?
Joy: Working on Pau Hana Years provided me a unique opportunity to build my skill set as a filmmaker and television director. Before I started on the project, the series was shot on 16mm film. Portable video cameras were just coming into play in the late 1970s, and we were able to shoot a lot more footage on a lower budget. I was able to work with this new technology that made access to editing much easier. And, of course, it allowed for shooting multiple takes if needed. We also taped many segments in the studio, including musical numbers that required innovative sets and lighting on a very limited budget. We also used multiple cameras to capture the performers.
What were some memorable moments working on the show?
Joy: During my time with the program, I was able to meet with many of the older generation living on the neighbor islands as well as some musical legends like Del Courtney who, for many years, performed at the Monarch Room at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. My first documentary that I directed and edited featured a farewell to the iconic old Halekulani Hotel before it was renovated into a luxury resort in the mid-1980s by its new owners from Japan. Capturing the memories of the older generation who used to patronize the House Without A Key restaurant at the hotel and from the many local musicians who performed there gave me a unique insight to that time and place that was Waikiki before the tourist boom that we are witnessing today.
I find it somewhat ironic that, with the baby boomer generation nearing retirement, and the increasing population of older people in our state’s demographics, we don’t have more programs devoted to the older generation. Pau Hana Years was surely ahead of its time.
February is Invasive Species Awareness Month here in Hawai’i, but the importance of value of the topic warrants discussion and learning all year long. Invasive species can take the form of plants or animals and could be big or small. Many of us are familiar with invasive species like cane toads and rats, but did you know that species like strawberry guava and ants fall into that category, too?
This is the perfect time to learn more about the difference between endemic, indigenous and introduced species and what makes something invasive. Something as simple as a beloved house plant can end up becoming a problem if left unchecked. Since the time that many of the recordings in our collection were created invasive species threats have grown. Now, we have Little Fire Ants and the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, as well as invasive seaweeds and reef fish. Read more about Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Month, here, and challenge yourself to be more aware and learn about what you can do to protect Hawaiʻi’s unique natural environment.
In the spirit of boosting the message, we’ve assembled some clips and resources below that show or discuss introduced, invasive and native species and what work has been taking place to help protect Hawaiʻi’s native flora and fauna.
Non-Native and Introduced Species
Click on the images below to watch the clips.
Click on the images below to view the clips.
Local informational websites for further exploration:
March is Women’s History Month and we decided to reflect on the resources in our archive that demonstrate and acknowledge the strength of women in Hawaii’s history. This selection of videos highlights the contributions of women and their engagement in changing the understanding of where women are situated within the social and political landscape of Hawaii.
Hanapbuhay Filipina: Looking for Work in Hawaii
Description: A look at Filipino immigrant women and their problems with finding suitable employment in Hawaiʻi.
Hannah Springer Interview May 30, 1995
Description: Hannah Springer interview May 30, 1995. Hannah discusses topics such as women in Hawaiian leadership roles, subsistence living, origin of Hawaiian pig hunting, transmission of Hawaiian knowledge, and tradition.
First Friday: The Unauthorized News: Native Women Poets (July 1991)
Description: Poetry Readings by Native Hawaiian Women Dana Naone Hall and Haunani-Kay Trask and Native American Woman Joy Harjo. The reading was presented on June 6, 1991.
Her Majesty: Lili’ukalani
Description: Documentary about Queen Liliʻuokalani and her life; before and after the overthrow. Features interviews with people who knew her intimately including Aunty Alice Namakelua.
To kick off American Archives Month, on October 1st, ‘Ulu‘ulu will join archivists around the country and take to Twitter to respond to questions tweeted with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. Take this opportunity to ask any questions you might have about ‘Ulu‘ulu’s collections, about archives or about the archivist profession in general! All you need to do is tweet your question with the hashtag on (or before) Thursday, Oct. 1. If your question is specifically intended for us, be sure to tag us @uluuluarchive so we won’t miss it.
Not sure what to ask? Here are a few questions we frequently get:
What does an archivist do?
How do you decide which videos to digitize?
What is the oldest film in your collection?
What’s your favorite video in your collection?
What’s your favorite Bruddah Iz song?
Which local restaurant makes the best mac salad?
Okay okay so I may have just made up the last two to make sure you’re paying attention. But hey, the point is ask anything you might be curious about. We look forward to seeing and answering your questions! We’ll do our best to get to each of them in a timely manner.
We’ve added an original painting by Avi Kiriaty to our archives space. The painting, entitled “ohana”, was dedicated to the memory of Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni – ‘Ulu‘ulu’s namesake and a dear friend of Senator Daniel K. Inouye. This very same painting used to hang in Senator Inouye’s Honolulu office and is currently on loan to ‘Ulu‘ulu from the Daniel K. Inouye Institute.
Original painting by Avi Kiriaty entitled “ohana”.
Upon loaning the painting to the archive, Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye wrote:
“The story of Dan Inouye is the story of modern Hawaii and the story of the promise of America… I am pleased to loan the ‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaii the painting by Avi Kiriaty entitled “The Family (Ohana)”. As appropriate, I hope you will display it proudly and fondly in Dan’s memory. His life’s work can be captured in two simple words – freedom and fairness. Through this loan, I hope his legacy of leadership and an unwavering hope for the future will be carried forward.”
We mahalo Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye and the Daniel K. Inouye Institute for sharing this beautiful painting with us! We also welcome you all to come visit us to view the painting (and our collections!).